By Renee Huang
April 22, 2009
Drive just one hour north of colonial gem, San Jose del Cabo, along a dusty desert highway, and discover some laidback communities in a region known as East Cape found along the shores of Baja California's Sea of Cortez.
Not only do the towns of La Ribera, Los Barriles and Los Frailes offer a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of Cabo, they are also a hub for the regions watersports, including kite boarding, deep sea fishing and diving.
Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, found between Los Barracas Bay and Los Frailes Bay, is a haven for divers and snorkelers, boasting the only living coral reefs in the Sea of Cortez. Its no wonder underwater sea explorer Jacques Cousteau called it the "Aquarium of the World" for the rich diversity of sea life found there.
Cabo Pulmo has five fingers of reefs that start at the beach and stretch a mile into the water, providing homes for more than 200 species of tropical fish that are protected within the parks more than 7,000 hectares of waters.
Spring and summer are the best seasons for snorkeling, diving or paddling excursions here as the waters March through October are clear and offer the best visibility. Rent equipment from a handful of dive shops here you won't need a wet suit as water temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
Among underwater wonders to admire? Sea turtles, snappers, Moray eels, spotted angelfish, even a colony of curious sea lions who may approach you to engage in an underwater ballet duet, and of course, the red, green and orange colored coral that make up this incredible kingdom.